Innovation

Discussion from Davos: Visa CEO Al Kelly on the power of data

In the future consumers should control sharing of information

January 23, 2020, 6:42 PM Eastern Time
Al Kelly talks on a panel in Davos, Switzerland about the importance of protecting data and giving consumers the power to manage it.


Global interoperable networks power the world – fueled by data to make transactions happen smoothly, whether you’re taking a flight from Lisbon to Buenos Aires, using a credit card in Australia, or calling someone in San Francisco.

Visa CEO and Chairman Al Kelly made this point at a gathering of government and economic leaders in Davos, Switzerland this week. Kelly was encouraged by the results of an interactive poll that asked attendees “are you confident that if your data moves abroad it will be responsibly treated?” Roughly three-quarters of people in the room responded “yes.”

The panel titled “Building Trust in Data Flows” featured a diverse mix of panelists and perspectives from the public and private sectors. When asked about the importance of privacy and security, Kelly reiterated the efforts of Visa to maintain some of the most sophisticated fraud-fighting network technologies to protect consumers and businesses from losses.

“Every day we interrogate 100 percent of the transactions that we see, and last year…we prevented $25 billion dollars of fraud that would have otherwise happened,” he said.

The panelists also discussed the trend towards "data localization" and restriction of data across borders, emerging out of concerns over security, data privacy, or protectionism of domestic goods and markets. Kelly shared the point that taking a global approach to the flow of data is the best way to maintain its security and leverage its potential to power transactions.

“Data by itself is isolated,” he said. “It gets more powerful when it gets linked with other data and AI and machine learning get applied to it.” Kelly emphasized the importance of giving consumers more control and oversight of their data.

“We can live in a world where consumers are in charge of their data, sharing it in instances where they are going to get good value from it…that’s what we need to get to,” he said.

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